Moose spotted among skiers at Winter Park Resort

WINTER PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Visitors in the Colorado high country witnessed several moose sightings over the weekend.

A moose was spotted along Berthoud Pass, causing quite the traffic jam, while another hit the slopes at Winter Park. Colorado Parks and Wildlife told FOX31 it’s unclear whether it was the same moose but admitted these sightings aren’t rare, so it’s important to know how to react.

“Wildlife call Winter Park home, so they are around, and they wander onto the slopes occasionally and make an appearance,” said Jen Miller, a spokesperson with Winter Park Resort.

Miller said the sighting of a moose near one of the lifts Saturday afternoon isn’t the first, and it likely won’t be the last. But when it happens, they’re prepared.

“Ski patrol is alerted. They will monitor the trail or the lift, and they will close it down to protect both people and the animals, to let them wander off on their own,” Miller said.

A moose was spotted amid ski crowds on Feb. 10, 2024, at Winter Park Resort. (Courtesy: Matt M.)

What to do if you see a moose

Rachael Gonzales with CPW said moose are better equipped to stay at higher elevations during the winter.

“Moose are really big and they have really long legs, so they don’t have to move as far,” Gonzales said. “They can stay in some of these higher elevations where you have this deep snow and still access much-needed food to survive the winter.”

But despite their often docile behavior, Gonzales said moose can be dangerous if agitated.

“You’re going to look at its body language. Is it pointing its ears? Is it licking, chomping at its lips? And those little heckles on the back of its neck are going to stand up,” Gonzales said. “Also, if it’s pacing back and forth.”

She advises those recreating in the backcountry to pay attention and admire these animals from afar.  

“If you see one and you have the ability to snap a photo from a distance, great. But if you don’t, again, your safety is not worth a viral photo,” Gonzales said.

In both sightings, there were no reports of any injuries.  

If a moose does display aggressive behavior or begins to charge, Gonzales said to run as fast as possible and try to put large objects between you and the moose, like a boulder, car or tree. If you’re out with a pet, CPW recommends keeping them leashed.

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